Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Who Do You Think You Are?

"Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about..."  (Psalm 139:23, MSG)

Parenthood is full of demands.  Some days, I think if I hear one more "Mom" out of someones mouth, I will lose my mind.  Our time rarely seems to be our own as we set it aside for the sake of beautiful, yet-attention-seeking children we love.  And it becomes incredibly easy to lose our sense of identity when extra medical care, mental health care or other assorted efforts are required for us to properly support our offspring.

I've laid down the challenge to examine What Defines Your Family.   But an interesting interaction recently lead me to also raise the challenge to ponder, who do you think you are?  Ironically, I find too often that people who either have no clue how to answer that question or who are obsessed with their self-identity are not typically in a good place emotionally.  Regardless of your current situation, it is helpful to ponder what principles, activities, habits and values define you as a person.  In other words, when you die, what might people recall about you?  And what might they miss that lays in your heart of hearts?

Let me begin by giving you an example that prompted the writing of this entire entry.  Recently, someone in my family denied something to me when I gently brought it to their attention.  This person created an awkward situation because they were refuting something that two other family members directly heard them say.  In other words, they were lying to me.  My blood boils when someone lies to me.  This is one "hill to die on" that I would say defines my personal character.  You can buy tons of mercy from me if you are just truthful with me, but God rely stretches my character when a person is not telling me the truth.  When a person lies to me, I feel like they take me for a complete fool.  And many of the great hurts in my life have happened because someone kept the truth from me.  Honesty is one cornerstone of who I am.

Another example of who I think I am can be found rooted in my love of laughter.  I would describe myself as a gregarious person.  I have even been scolded for letting a loud guffaw loose in church, God forbid!  I truly feel that life would not be the same without the bond of laughter in my family.  And it feels like such a tremendous privilege to make someone laugh when their burdens are many.  Somehow, laughter just lightens the load of life's challenges.  Humor is another cornerstone of who I am.

Loud-mouthed, a lover of mighty pines and placid lakes, empathetic, but also sassy, a lousy yet always hopeful gardener, artistic when given the opportunity, and a lifelong bibliophile are all ways I would define myself.  But most importantly, I would describe myself as an ever-growing lover of Jesus, my Savior.  Incredibly unworthy, but even more incredibly loved.  Grateful beyond words for what my Maker has done for me.  All my true value lays in Him alone.  He IS the solid rock of who I am.

But enough about me!  Did this get you thinking?  Who do you think YOU are?  Whatever defines you, know that it also includes being the object of God's great affection!  Know that you have infinite value, beyond life's demands, because you are made by God and for God.  I pray that this little exercise in self-reflection not only blesses you, but keeps you firmly rooted and planted in what matters.

Pray:  Lord, help me to remember who I am in you.  Today, keep me from sweating the small stuff and keep my eyes focused on that which cannot perish.  Help me to be the best one-of-a-kind me that I can be!


  1. Barb...this was very timely. My holy discontent is bubbling to the surface. We had a horrible situation in a neighboring community yesterday morning. I'm sick of tolerating stuff that's intolerable.

    Each of us who follow Christ need to remember that through His power at work within us, we can do infinitely more than we'd ever dare to ask or imagine. We're sons and daughters of the King. And it's time to take back His Kingdom.

  2. As always, you made me think. Fabulous post, dear Barb.

  3. Thanks, Barb, for your thoughtful honesty! I saw your post on Facebook about the lying. Somehow I think these two are related. Whatever, I love how you challenge me to stretch and grow! You are one of the amazing women in my life who constantly bless me! I am honored to call you friend and fellow traveler! Hugs!